Corruption News

If, like me, you’re interested in understanding how and why the world is broken and how corruption works, there has been a spike in interesting articles about that recently. Do the world a favor and reserve some time to understand how corruption works, and what we can do about it.

Unaoil: The Company That Bribed the World

“In the list of the world’s great companies, Unaoil is nowhere to be seen. But for the best part of the past two decades, the family business from Monaco has systematically corrupted the global oil industry, distributing many millions of dollars worth of bribes on behalf of corporate behemoths including Samsung, Rolls-Royce, Halliburton and Australia’s own Leighton Holdings.

“Now a vast cache of leaked emails and documents has confirmed what many suspected about the oil industry, and has laid bare the activities of the world’s super-bagman as it has bought off officials and rigged contracts around the world.”

How to hack an election

“Andrés Sepúlveda rigged elections throughout Latin America for almost a decade. He tells his story for the first time.”

The man who studies the spread of ignorance

“How do people or companies with vested interests spread ignorance and obfuscate knowledge? Georgina Kenyon finds there is a term which defines this phenomenon.”

The Panama Papers: how the world’s rich and famous hide their money offshore

“The hidden wealth of some of the world’s most prominent leaders, politicians and celebrities has been revealed by an unprecedented leak of millions of documents that show the myriad ways in which the rich can exploit secretive offshore tax regimes.”

See also: “the real scandal is that most of what Mossack Fonseca and the rest of the wealth-management industry do is perfectly legal…. What [they] really provide is the expertise that allows their clients to stay just on the right side of the law—or far enough into the legal grey zones that the clients have a real chance to prevail if they end up in court. That’s why many of the people who have seemingly been exposed by this leak will likely never face charges of any kind…. Anyone pushing for change rapidly comes to the realization that, at both the personal and institutional levels, many governments are deeply enmeshed in the kind of financial activities revealed by the Panama Papers.”

Depths of Corruption: TED Talks about Corruption

This list includes my favorite corruption talk, about the U.S. Federal Government. Lawrence Lessig explains how corruption works in Washington D.C. and more importantly, how to fix it. Two and a half years after recording that talk, Lessig experienced U.S. corruption first hand, when his anti-corruption bid for president was shut down when the DNC changed its own rules to exclude him from the debates.